Gas prices are finally dropping, locally we’ve seen about a $.20 decrease in the last few weeks. Nationally the consumer confidence that gas prices will continue to drop is at a 10-week high. Decreasing gas prices mean more travelers willing to take that road trip, either for the long weekend or the week-long family vacation. Are you taking advantage and marketing to your drive-to market?
Segmentation of your marketing strategy is a proven method for making potential guests feel like they’re being spoken to directly, as opposed to lumped in with the other 10,000 people you’re marketing week-long, fly-in deals around.
Drive to marketing can generally yield shorter, but much more frequent stays. Keep in mind that someone who can come spend 4 to 5 days at least two to three times a year is going to make your business more money than that one family that came for 6 or 7 nights. They’re generally easier to market to, and tend to be louder brand advocates in your social networks.
Getting ready for some drive-to marketing:
- Put together an editorial calendar that features events and happenings that will attract your drive to market
- Figure out who they are. Use Google Analytics and Google Maps to figure out the radius of your drive to market, generally a 4-hour or less drive in every direction.
- Figure out the towns and cities that are within that radius and make a note of those towns and/or zip codes
- Find those towns and zip codes in your Analytics, which ones make you the most money?
- Use your list of towns and zip codes to do a few things to get ready to market:
- Pull those towns and/or zip codes out of your email marketing list into a new “drive to” group
- Find the major online and offline publications that exist within your drive to market
- Create Landing Pages that offer deals to those major drive-to markets. Make them personalized to your visitor’s location like Domain.com/Raleigh or Domain.com/VirginaBeach
Now you can start marketing
- List your major cities and see about buying advertising in major publications (online and offline) that will drive visitors to your location-specific landing pages
- Run Paid Advertising campaigns in Adwords, AdCenter, and Facebook that target your drive-to radius with keywords like “Long Weekend vacations” and such.
- Send out email blasts to each major city area that offers special drive-to deals and lands users on their local landing page
- Use your local Facebook network to “get the word out”
- CONSIDER using a local deal site like LivingSocial or Groupon. There are A LOT of downfalls to this tactic, so do your homework carefully.